Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone all the best in 2008. I know that I said I would write about my holiday in London and my Christmas; however, I've been quite miserable due to the combined attack of allergies and a cold. However, for pictures from my holiday in London, click HERE.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Don't Stop The Music

After much thought and consideration, below is the list of my favourite songs that I encountered during 2007:

1. Beirut - Nantes
Album: The Flying Club Cup
Reason: Zach Condon’s captivating voice over lilting orchestration makes for the most beautiful song of the year.

2. Kate Nash – Foundations
Album: Made Of Bricks
Reason: It may be a total Lily Allen knock-off (what w/ the prevalent English accent, the cursing and references to trainers), but this gem is also pure pop gold. It’s insanely catchy, fun and surprisingly guilt-free.

3. Feist – My Moon My Man
Album: The Reminder
Reason: The keyboard and drums gets your foot tapping and she sucks you completely in with her sultry voice. Delectable pop that proves just as catchy as her massive breakthrough hit you’ve seen on that Ipod Nano commercial, but that you won’t tire of quite as easily.

4. Of Montreal - The Past Is A Grotesque Animal
Album: Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Reason: The intense, gritty and nearly twelve-minute long epic manages to keep you enthralled from the very first riffs of the guitar. Ripe full of obscure references and brilliant lines (“Somehow you’ve red-rovered the Gestapo circling my heart”, for example), this is truly the highlight of the masterpiece that is their album, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?.

5. A Fine Frenzy - Almost Lover
Album: One Cell In The Sea
Reason: Alison evokes all the pain and sorrow of a broken heart with her haunting voice and beautiful lyrics.

6. Pleasure - Out Of Love
Album: 2
Reason: As the artist’s name suggests, this song is pleasure overload. Just put this boisterous track on if you’re feeling down, and the dancey, 80s tinged song will have you in a good mood before you know it.

7. Spoon - Rhthm & Soul
Album: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Reason: Like the majority of their album, this song is fun, danceable rock that doesn’t grow stale.

8. Sia - Day Too Soon
Album: Some People Have Real Problems
Reason: Because it’s a love song, and, despite appearing to have the mentality of a child (judging from the few videos I've seen of her), this lady has one of the most brilliant voices.

9. Kelly Clarkson - How I Feel
Album: My December
Reason: My anthem for the year and the track that could have saved an entire album…had they chosen to release it as the second single instead of ‘Sober’

10. The Ting Tings - That’s Not My Name
Album: The Ting Tings
Reason: Cause it’s just hot.

11. Regina Spektor - Fidelity
12. Brandi Carlile - The Story
13. Tegan And Sara - Back In Your Head
14. Eisley - Come Clean
15. The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger
16. Feist - 1234
17. Lo-Fi-Fnk - What’s On Your Mind?
18. Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry
19. Jamie T - Calm Down Dearest
20. Siobhan Donaghy - So You Say
21. Of Montreal - Gronlandic Edit
22. Matt Costa - Mr. Pitiful
23. The Bird And The Bee - Again & Again
24. Small Sins - On The Line
25. Architecture In Helsinki - Heart It Races
26. Kelly Clarkson - Don’t Waste Your Time
27. Margaret BergerRobot Song
28. Brett Anderson - Back To You
29. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
30. Bat For Lashes - What’s A Girl To Do
31. Yeasayer - Sunrise
32. A Fine Frenzy - You Picked Me
33. Meg Baird - Do What You Gotta Do
34. MiNa - Complete
35. Kim Richey - Not A Love Like This
36. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
37. Robyn - Cobrastyle
38. Jason Collett - Out Of Time
39. La Quinta Estacion - Sin Miedos
40. King Creosote - You’ve No Clue Do You
41. Björk - Innocence
42. Rilo Kiley - Breakin' Up
43. Amy MacDonald - Mr. Rock & Roll
44. MIKA - Grace Kelly
45. St. Vincent - Marry Me
46. Tegan And Sara - Relief Next To Me
47. Lantana - Siempre
48. The Shins - Turn On Me
49. Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse - Valerie
50. Dolores O’Riordan - Loser
51. Kelly Clarkson - Never Again
52. Brandi Carlile - Late Morning Lullaby
53. Editors - An End Has A Start
54. Lykke Li - Little Bit
55. Jamie Scott & The Town - Rise Up
56. Lavender Diamond - Open Your Heart
57. Candie Payne - All I Need To Hear
58. Sally Shapiro - He Keeps Me Alive
59. Stars - The Night Starts Here
60. Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
61. Róisín Murphy - Movie Star
62. Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining
63. Travis - My Eyes
64. Reba McEntire feat. Justin Timberlake - The Only Promise That Remains
65. Tori Amos - Beauty Of Speed
66. Manic Street Preachers feat. Nina Perrson - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
67. Of Montreal - Suffer For Fashion
68. Kylie Minogue - In My Arms
69. Jamie T - Sheila
70. Keren Ann - Lay Your Head Down
71. Conchita - Puede Ser
72. Pink Martini - Hey Eugene!
73. Earlimart - The Little Things
74. I’m From Barcelona - We’re From Barcelona
75. Scouting For Girls - It’s Not About You
76. Steel Train - Firecracker
77. Alice Smith - Dream
78. Dover - Soldier
79. Catherine Feeny - Mr. Blue
80. Vanessa Paradis - Dès Que J'te Vois
81. Lucky Soul - Lips Are Unhappy
82. Joshua James - Today
83. Alizée - Mademoiselle Juliette
84. Marta Sánchez - Desafinados
85. Dan Wilson - Easy Silence
86. Patty Griffin - Burgundy Shoes
87. The Answering Machine - Silent Hotels
88. KT Tunstall - Saving My Face
89. Tegan And Sara - Call It Off
90. MIKA - Relax, Take It Easy
91. Jens Lekman - The Opposite Of Hallelujah
92. West Indian Girl - Eight Days A Week
93. VHS Or Beta - Burn It All Down
94. Siobhan Donaghy - Don't Give It Up
95. Donna Regina - La Ou Je Suis
96. Graham Colton - If Love Was Enough
97. The Pigeon Detectives - I Found Out
98. Josh Ritter - To The Dogs Or Whoever
99. Jamie T - If You Got The Money
100. Bishop Allen - Rain

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I've been absent since my London trip and today is no different really. I was not only trying to get back into the swing of things when I got back last week (which took longer than anticipated), but I've also been holding off a cold. Today the cold started off in the lead again, as I have a sore throat. However, It seems to be getting better as the morning progresses, so who knows.

Over the weekend, I'll post about my holiday in London and my Christmas in Houston.

I hope all of you had/have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate (and even if you don't celebrate anything).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Friend Of Mine

I didn't want to sit at the airport for six hours, so I took the silver line into Boston to meet my friend. We met online about five years ago, so it was nice to meet face to face. It was a quick visit, but when I move up to NYC I'll be able to make a proper visit.

btw, I'm aware that I look like shit, but I only had maybe two hours of sleep and I've been lugging two heavy bags all around. Thankfully we should be boarding here in roughly 30 minutes. I'll pop some pills and hopefully fall into a slumber.

London Bound

I'm at the airport in Dallas sipping on a cup of coffee while waiting for my flight to Boston. I'm hoping to be able to spend a few hours in Boston with a friend before catching my flight to London. Not sure how often I'll be able to get online, so don't expect updates over the next week. I'll definitely post pictures upon my return on the 18th.

Monday, December 10, 2007

All The Pretty Albums '07

1. A Fine Frenzy - One Cell In The Sea
Reason: Alison Sudol takes the listener through well-crafted songs about love, be it gained or lost, platonic or romantic. It’s rare for me to come across an album that has a deep, emotional impact on me, but this debut is heartbreakingly beautiful. She’s definitely the artist to watch.
Hightlights: Almost Lover, You Picked Me, The Minnow & The Trout, Lifesize and Think Of You

2. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Reason: Fueled by antidepressants (prescribed, of course), Kevin Barnes wrote, performed and recorded this concept album while in Norway. Filled with obscure references and dark undertones, the set still manages to be the groups most accessible album.
Highlights: The Past Is A Grotesque Animal, Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse, Gronlandic Edit, Suffer For Fashion and We Were Born The Mutants Again With Leafing

3. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Reason: Lavish and over-the-top arrangements on this French chanson style collection sounds both antique and modern. In other words, timeless. It may not be number one on my list this year, but it’ll hold its own for years to come.
Highlights: Nantes, The Penalty, In The Mausoleum, Forks And Knives (La Fete) and Cliquot

4. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Reason: Indie rock pop at it’s finest.
Highlights: Rhthm & Soul, You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb, The Underdog and Black Like Me

5. Kim Richey - Chinese Boxes
Reason: She made country cool again. With one foot in Nashville and another in London, Kim has combined elements from both worlds for a truly beautiful album.
Highlights: Not A Love Like This, The Absence Of Your Company, Chinese Boxes, Turn Me and Pretty Picture

6. King Creosote - Bombshell
Reason: He approaches music unlike most mainstream artists these days – he puts the performance before the production. His folk-infused rock songs are perfect for getting lost in while spending a day relaxing at home.
Hightlights: Nooks, You’ve No Clue Do You, There’s None Of That, Spystick and Home In A Sentence

7. Feist - The Reminder
Reason: The little indie queen that could. She busted out into the mainstream thanks to that iPod Nano commercial and, as a result, has scored four Grammy nominations. The success of this album goes beyond ‘1234,’ though, as there are fourteen other mesmerizing songs.
Highlights: My Moon My Man, Past In Present, I Feel It All, So Sorry, How My Heart Behaves and 1234

8. Robyn - Robyn
Reason: Two years after she self released the album, the set received a proper release in the UK (it is due for a stateside release in the near future) this year. She reigned over the singles chart with the smash With Every Heartbeat (w/ a little help from Kleerup) earlier this year.
Hightlights: Be Mine, Handle Me, Robot Boy, Bum Like You, Cobrastyle and With Every Heartbeat

9. Kate Nash - Made Of Bricks
Reason: I initially wrote her off as a total Lily Allen knock-off destined for one-hit wonderdom. She shut me up when she released her album, though. It may be still sound like Lily, but she proved Foundations wasn’t a fluke.
Highlights: Foundations, Shit Song, Skeleton Song, We Get On, Mouthwash, Merry Happy

10. MIKA - Life In Cartoon Motion
Reason: Is it just me or does this feel Broadway-esque? Regardless, this is an exciting debut that Americans quickly rejected. And his vocals are eerily similar to those of Freddie Mercury.
Highlights: Relax, Take It Easy, Lollipop, Ring Ring, Happy Ending and Grace Kelly

11. Margaret Berger - Pretty Scary Silver Fairy
Hightlights: Samantha, Will You Remember Me Tomorrow, Have You Never Ever, Robot Song and Get Physical

12. Siobhan Donaghy - Ghosts
Highlights: So You Say, Coming Up For Air, Don’t Give It Up and Bar Acid Blues

13. Vanessa Paradis - Divine Idylle
Hightlights: Dès Que J'te Vois, Divine Idylle, La Bataille and La Mélodie

14. Brandi Carlile - The Story
Highlights: The Story, Wasted, Late Morning Lullaby and Turpentine

15. Jamie Scott & The Town - Park Bench Theories
Highlights: When Will I See Your Face Again, Rise Up, Lady West and Hey You

16. Tegan And Sara - The Con
Highlights: Call It Off, Relief Next To Me, Back In Your Head and The Con

17. Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted
Highlights: My Brittle Heart, Ain’t Never Been Cool, It’s Yours and Lips Are Unhappy

18. VHS Or Beta - Bring On The Comets
Highlights: Burn It All Down, Time Stands Still and The Stars Where We Came From

19. Joshua James - The Sun Is Always Brighter
Highlights: Today, You’re The Cocaine and The New Love Song

20. Kelly Clarkson - My December
Highlights: How I Feel, Don’t Waste Your Time, Never Again and Irvine

Sunday, December 09, 2007


So I signed up at several weeks ago and I just received my log-in for their beta testing site. So I thought I would post a recent episode of one of my favourite shows, 30 Rock. I chose this episode, Cougars, because it's hilarious, yes, but primarily because Liz's boyfriend is gorgeous. If I was a breeder, I too would be gay for him.

Most Lykke Li

Just when I had finished my year-end list of favourite songs, I found a posting about the latest pop import out of Sweden - Lykke Li. Her songs are simple and pure pop songs about love...and, especially in the case of the track Little Bit, undeniably catchy. I'm trying to stop myself from listening to it too many times too soon, as I'd like to not get tired of this one right away. Take a listen to three amazing tracks from her:

Here's the video for the aforementioned Little Bit:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Lucky Ones

Kanye West may be leading the pack with six nominations (including Best Album), but it's the women that are stealing his thunder. Despite being England's version of Britney (albeit, one with actual talent), Amy Winehouse followed closely with five (I guess she didn't have a hand in writing her smash Rehab, otherwise she'd have six) and Feist earned three (including Best New Artist, as expected). Here are the nominees for what I consider the main awards:

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters
These Days, Vince Gill
River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock
Graduation, Kanye West
Back To Black, Amy Winehouse

Irreplaceable, Beyoncé
The Pretender, Foo Fighters
Umbrella, Rihanna feat. Jay-Z
What Goes Around...Comes Around, Justin Timberlake
Rehab, Amy Winehouse

Before He Cheats (performed by Carrie Underwood)
Hey There Delilah (performed by Plain White T's)
Like A Star (performed by Corinne Bailey Rae)
Rehab (performed by Amy Winehouse)
Umbrella (performed by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z)

Taylor Swift (a nice early birthday present...we share the same birthday of Dec. 13)
Amy Winehouse

Candyman, Christina Aguilera
1234, Feist
Big Girls Don't Cry, Fergie
Say It Right, Nelly Furtado
Rehab, Amy Winehouse

Everything, Michael Bublé
Belief, John Mayer
Dance Tonight, Paul McCartney
Amazing, Seal
What Goes Around...Comes Around, Justin Timberlake

(You Want To) Make A Memory, Bon Jovi
Home, Daughtry
Makes Me Wonder, Maroon 5
Hey There Delilah, Plain White T's
Window In The Skies, U2

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

BShorty Falls Short

You knew it was coming and you knew I'd get myself a copy of it. I'm referring to Audio Day Dream by Blake Lewis. After having given it several spins, I must say I'm disappointed. It isn't that the album is bad, he just had so much more potential. He brought something that, up until his arrival, American Idol had been sorely lacking: if not originality, then at least creativity. In fact, the beatboxing has been reduced to the end of songs or brief tracks. The direction Blake appears to be heading is that of a poor man's Adam Levine, and that saddens me. If he wanted to do ballads, he could have at least gone more for Keane than Maroon 5. I'm hoping there were constraints on this album and his follow up will be more true to his style prior to AI.

When all is said and done, the album is actually pretty good for what it is. It's also the best effort from an AI first runner up, hands down. Unfortunately, he's being graded on what he didn't do because we all know what he was capable of churning out. Besides, my musical preferences have altered vastly over just the past few months and I'm just not feeling glossed over pop produced for the masses that opt for style over substance.

My Humps

Happy Hump Day! It's hard to imagine that this time next week I will be in England. It's not so much that I'll be in a different country as it is that I won't be working for a whole week! Anyway, I needed a laugh this morning and came across this, so I thought I'd share:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Goods

It's that time of year again. No, not the holidays...forget about all that crap. It's time for year-end lists! I'm a list fanatic, so I like to see where my favourites reside. The first list I've stumbled upon is from the British mag 'Q'. Here are their top 50 albums (I've marked those that I've shortlisted for my favourites list in bold):

50 Stereophonics - Pull The Pin
49 Jamie T - Panic Prevention
48 Justice -
47 Kate Nash - Made Of Bricks
46 Sigur Ròs - Hvarf-Heim
45 Lucinda Williams - West
44 Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta!
43 Patrick Watson - Close To Paradise
42 The Enemy - We'll Live And Die In These Towns
41 Keren Ann - Keren Ann
40 Field Music - Tones Of Town
39 Joni Mitchell - Shine
38 Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High
37 Robyn - Robyn
36 Common - Finding Forever
35 Hard-Fi - Once upon A Time In The West
34 M.I.A. - Kala
33 Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II
32 Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
31 Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land
30 The National - Boxer
29 Roìsìn Murphy - Overpowered
28 The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
27 Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
26 Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
25 Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
24 PJ Harvey - White Chalk
23 Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
22 The Coral - Roots & Echoes
21 Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards
20 The Rumble Strips - Girls And Weather
19 Björk - Volta
18 LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
17 Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight
16 Manic Street Preachers - Send Away The Tigers
15 Interpol - Our Love To Admire
14 Cherry Ghost - Thirst For Romance
13 Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
12 Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
11 Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
10 Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars
09 The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America
08 The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
07 Kings of Leon - Because Of The Times
06 Bruce Springsteen - Magic
05 The Good, The Bad & The Queen - The Good, The Bad & The Queen
04 Radiohead - In Rainbows
03 Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
02 The White Stripes - Icky Thump
01 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

One glaring omission is that of Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? by Of Montreal. It may have been forgotten for two reasons: It was leaked so far into 2006 (way back in September) or because it was released so early in 2007. Neither is an acceptable reason, but I digress.

The only other complaint I have is that they didn't really veer away from the indie rock genre. There were some really great albums put out this year that were overlooked just because they were more mainstream. Oh well, it's not my list, so I shouldn't be complaining. If anything, it's brought some albums to my attention that I'm now interested in checking out.

While we are on the topic of best albums, I'll probably start posting my BEST OF lists sometime next week if depending on when I can get internet access.

Put Your Records On 07.46

King Creosote is the solo outlet for Kenny Anderson (former lead of bands Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra and Khartoum Heroes). Anderson takes an interesting and refreshing approach to music...he values the performance over the recording. If he can't do it in one take, he'll change it up to something more simple. His new album, Bombshell, is a well-formed folk/rock album and I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, if you're in the US, you'll have to settle for purchasing the import.

To give you a little taste of the album, here are two of my favourite tracks (the latter being his current single) off the album for your listening pleasure...Nooks and You've No Clue Do You.

Like what you hear? Find more from the artist on iTunes using the links below:

King Creosote
US (only two songs available)

King Creosote

King Creosote

King Creosote

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Cookie Owns Me

Opened a fortune cookie after lunch today and this is what it read:

What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine.

I'm not really sure what to make of that. Any ideas?